We are introduced to art from an early age, encouraged to read picture books as small children, creating our own art in school, and for many people art becomes a way of life. You may be one of many who declares they are ‘not interested’ in art; you may not realise that art is all around you, every day. How many songs have you sang along to when listening to the radio? How many photos have you studied when reading a magazine, or a newspaper? What about films you have watched recently? What was the last book you read? All of these are art, and they perform a function that makes art very important in our lives: they stimulate.
Art is about stimulation, and also about creativity. Without art there would be no invention, no innovation, and the world would be a poorer place. Of course, a world without art is impossible, for man created images on the walls of caves many thousands of years ago, just as artists today continue to create amazing, diverse images, tunes, sculptures and more for both enjoyment and as documents of events or places in time. This is also why art is important – it can serve as a solid form of reminder of happenings, people or places for future generations. For example – how do you know what King Henry VIII looked like? Because his portrait was painted many times, and is reproduced widely.
The problem is the arts – in all forms – are underfunded and poorly supported; art is seen as a pursuit, rather than something of importance, yet we have – simply and briefly – shown above why it is an essential part of life. We need to help and encourage future generations of artists in all areas of the arts, and allow them to continue to innovate, and to create, and we need to help provide the resources and facilities for them to do so. If this has stimulated you, as art should do, then read on, and see how you can help.